Apple's Siri Turns Six: AI Assistant Announced Alongside iPhone 4s on October 4, 2011

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  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    On October 4, 2011, Apple held a media event in which it introduced Find My Friends, refreshed the iPod Nano and iPod touch, and revealed the iPhone 4s with its all-new Siri voice assistant. This means that today marks the sixth year anniversary of when Apple's Siri was first introduced to the world, although the AI helper wouldn't be available to the public until the iPhone 4s launch on October 14, 2011.

    In the original press releases for Siri, Apple touted using your voice to send text messages, schedule meetings, set timers, ask about the weather, and more. Apple explained Siri's understanding of context and non-direct questions, like presenting you with a weather forecast if you ask "Will I need an umbrella this weekend?"

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    The original Siri interface on iOS 5

    Apple didn't create Siri itself, however, as the company purchased the technology that's now prevalent in all iOS devices by acquiring Siri, Inc., a spinoff of SRI International where the technology originated. Prior to the assistant's presence on iPhone, Siri was a standalone app on the App Store (launched February 2010) that offered automated personal assistant services through integrations with third-party apps like OpenTable, FlightStats, Google Maps, and more. Users could interact with these apps using Siri's voice-recognition technology, created by Nuance.

    Just two months after Siri appeared on the App Store, reports of Apple's acquisition of Siri surfaced in April 2010, and the purchase was quickly confirmed by representatives and board members from the voice-recognition company. According to Siri board member Shawn Carolan, "The offer from Apple was of a scope and tenor that it was a no-brainer to accept it." The standalone app was removed from the App Store after Apple's unveiling of its own Siri in October 2011.


    Over the years, Siri has debuted new features and expanded to more devices, including the iPad (June 2012), iPod Touch (September 2012), Apple Watch (April 2015), Apple TV with Siri Remote (September 2015), Mac with macOS Sierra (September 2016), and HomePod (coming December 2017).

    Since 2011, Siri has become a large enough part of Apple's brand that the company just this year launched a series of advertisements focusing solely on the assistant's helpfulness, aided by actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. The latest version of iOS, iOS 11, has seen a few improvements brought to Siri, including a more natural speaking voice, text-to-talk, and a translation feature.

    Details about Siri's origin at Apple have continued to emerge over the years, with voice actress Susan Bennett revealing a few behind-the-scenes tidbits about the early days of the project in an interview posted earlier in 2017. Bennett described having to say "nonsense phrases" like "Say the shrodding again," which she later realized provided Apple with "all of the sounds of the English language."

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    The next place that Siri will be found in is Apple's HomePod speaker, which was for a long time simply called the "Siri Speaker" prior to its official unveiling at WWDC in June. HomePod will greatly rely on user interaction with Siri, allowing for music playback, HomeKit control, timer settings, news reports, and essentially most of the tasks that Siri can already do elsewhere. Most importantly, Siri will become a "musicologist" in HomePod and gain a greater understand of music-related trivia to greater enhance HomePod's position as a high-quality audio device.

    Despite advancements, many users frequently point out Siri's flaws and inconsistencies in certain situations. It's been rumored previously that Apple's development on Siri has been hindered by the company's commitments to privacy. But, in an interview last month Apple VP of marketing Greg Joswiak argued that user data privacy and a smart AI assistant can co-exist: "We're able to deliver a very personalized experience... without treating you as a product that keeps your information and sells it to the highest bidder. That's just not the way we operate."

    Article Link: Apple's Siri Turns Six: AI Assistant Announced Alongside iPhone 4s on October 4, 2011
     
  2. Dilster3k macrumors 6502a

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  3. djcerla macrumors 68000

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    #3
    The commercials for Siri were the worst ever for Apple, imo.
     
  4. gsmornot macrumors 68030

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  5. Applebot1 macrumors 6502a

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  6. numberfour macrumors regular

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  7. appleunderpants macrumors newbie

    appleunderpants

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    I miss the original Siri. It was far less politically correct and had plenty of Easter eggs. Anyone remember asking Siri where to hide the body?
     
  8. StevieD100 macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Siri? Why don't you work after all this time?

    You are fired!
     
  9. haruhiko macrumors 601

    haruhiko

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    Try to say 'Happy birthday' to Siri today.
     
  10. Xavier macrumors 68030

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    #10
    Siri has seen great improvements over the years and is a very useful tool!
     
  11. Foxglove9 macrumors 68000

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    Those examples in the video are still the only things I can find Siri useful for.
     
  12. jmh0523 macrumors member

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    #12
    I came here just to say Siri sucks so bad, I waste more time correcting its errors and I've found that the built-in speech tool from Google (Chrome/Maps) is 100% better. Oh and hey siri is completely broke after updating my 6s to ios11
     
  13. GaryMumford macrumors regular

    GaryMumford

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  14. Moac macrumors member

    Moac

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    #14
    I wish Apple bring back some of that UI design they had in iOS back then and the small phone size.
    I want an iPhone 4s size with iPhone X front design.
     
  15. NinjaHERO macrumors 6502a

    NinjaHERO

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    #15
    And still she barely understands what I say. Maybe 7 years is our lucky number. lol
     
  16. mattopotamus macrumors G5

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  17. Relentless Power, Oct 4, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2017

    Relentless Power macrumors Core

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    I use Siri every single day for dictation and searching. Yes, it's not perfect. But truthfully, I do find Siri to be extremely useful and responsive. Siri has Made my iPhone usage quicker and convenient when it matters most.
     
  18. jamesrick80 macrumors 68020

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  19. Hater macrumors 6502a

    Hater

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    #19
    I've been disabling it for 6 years now? Seems like just yesterday.
     
  20. T5BRICK macrumors G3

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    #20
    While Siri has gotten better over the years, so has the competition. I prefer Google assistant over Siri.
     
  21. jonnysods macrumors 603

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    #21
    I went to wish her happy birthday but I didn't have an internet connection...
     
  22. Vanilla35 macrumors 68030

    Vanilla35

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    #22
    Something's wrong here...can't quite pinpoint it.... :p
     
  23. jdd0815 macrumors newbie

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    Went out to breakfast with my aunt yesterday and she still uses her 4S.
     
  24. nwcs macrumors 68000

    nwcs

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    #24
    Oh the 4s. I still remember the empty chair up front. I knew what that meant. Siri was so cool sounding at that announcement but really never got to be as great as the promise.
     
  25. 840quadra Moderator

    840quadra

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    #25
    Sometimes I wonder if the people being so hard on it, have given it a proper try, or, more importantly, understand the syntax needed for such personal assistants.

    Siri works no better or worse than “Okay Google” does on my Android devices with regards to vocal recognition. I can respond to text messages via voice with minimal errors on both platforms, schedule appointments, and turn on devices in my home all the same.

    Both also have some abilities the other lacks, and do an amazing job overall (IMO). Never thought I could reliably talk to devices like this within my lifetime. I think people’s expectations are unrealistic, but that is true for all tech recently.
     

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